Rating : K. No swearing, I think.

Do not own, am not making money.

Most of my stories are AR, I guess. I take the characters and stick them all sorts of odd places. And please, keep your minds out of the gutter.

Sometimes, I suppose my characters seem odd. It's because I see Sasuke and Naruto differently than everyone else. They're both jaded and lonely, but in different ways, and need to depend on each other. It's not perfect and they hate each others guts, and that's why this pairing intrigues me so much I dream about it.

Anyway, this was inspired by a friend of mine recently busted for drugs.

My friends are dropping like flies.

At least its fodder for creative inspiration, yes?

Oh, and please go check out this story. It is so addicting I've read it 5 times now. It's absolutely adorable and I think of it every time I see a salvation army Santa. It's called The Gift of Christmas Present by Hanakage.

And, of course, I didn't write this story just to recommend that. Nope, not at all.

I guess that means this is dedicated to Hanakage. (Thank you.)


The inverse algebraic properties of a relationship


They were in the middle of the awkward process of getting to unknow each other.

It was a warm day in December, and he wasn't alright. The sky was too blue and colors were too bright and he felt far too alive for his liking. Math class, to him, was as entertaining as being slowly lowered into a vat of boiling acid.

The voices of people around him echoed in the place where his own thoughts should have been and, searching for a distraction, he turned around to the desk behind him.

The blonds' eyes were closed, his head in one palm. One eye opened immediately, as if it had sensed his presence, and looked at the other curiously.

"Hey Sasuke."

Sasuke nodded, wondering why he was willingly engaging in conversation with someone that listened to the pauses between the end of a sentence and the start of a new one.

Naruto smiled suddenly and stuck out his sleeve. "Look!" His voice was happy and light and Sasuke had never seen something so insufferable.

There was a heart dangling from the edge of Naruto's sleeve. It was sewn from red yarn and had a smiley face painted on it in blank sharpie. Sasuke watched it swing from side to side.

"Get it?" Naruto's eye were wide and his voice was still light and suddenly Sasuke had no energy left to even feel disdain for the fact that, yes, he did get it.

He turned back around.

Time passed in a blur as every possible topic of conversation was discussed except for advanced algebra.

A boy Sasuke knew by sight only was laughing so loudly the windows vibrated. "So, you know you can sell dead bodies to the army?"

His friend snickered. "Who makes that decision? Like, I'm going to sell this dead body. It's mine."

"I don't know, man,"

Sasuke wondered how much money you could get for one, and if the prospect of jail time was even worth it.

The boredom threatened to overpower his senses as he mentally fought over the idea of turning around and talking to the 'person' behind him.

The boredom won.

Naruto was idly fingering his heart with one hand as he doodled with the other. His eyes weren't even looking at the paper. He was considering the two loudly talking boys who were smacking each other on the back and laughing. His eyes were dull.

Sasuke snorted. "Stop playing with your heart, idiot."

Naruto looked up, eyes brightening. "What, do you want to play with it instead?"

Sasuke's throat constricted slightly and he turned around partially. "No… I'd just drop it." His voice was so soft he wasn't sure if Naruto could even hear him.

Naruto was silent for a moment, but when he spoke it was with a gentle sincerity that Sasuke had thought only existed in Disney movies. "Yeah, then it would all unravel."

No one really learned any math that day.

Two years later, two hellish years of drama, love letters, and crying later, they were sitting in a different math class, in a different time.

Sasuke turned to look at Naruto, sitting in the seat next to him.

Naruto smiled, because he knew that when Sasuke most wanted to say something he wouldn't, and had to have it said for him.

"I wonder," Naruto idly mused, one eyebrow cocked slightly, "what it would feel like if we were just imagining all this."

Sasuke waited for the burst of insight.

"I mean," Naruto, "I don't know what I'd do if this wasn't real. If it was just some twisted story some equally twisted writer thought up. If this," he gestured to himself and then Sasuke, "was just a dream one of us was having."

Sasuke coughed. "Stop reading existentialism. It's doing things to your mind."

"At least you admit I have a mind."

"Touché."

Naruto grinned and leaned back in his chair, balancing precariously on the back legs. "I'm sick of fairytales, Sasuke."

"It's good this isn't one, then, isn't it?"

"No. It's more gossip girl meets saw."

"Television rots your mind, freak. You should think more."

"Thinking rots your mind too!"

Sasuke scoffed.

"Seriously!" Naruto protested. "You've thought yourself out of happiness a million times, but never once into it. What good does it do you?"

Sasuke shrugged and looked away. Sunlight poured in from an open window to rest in a puddle at their feet and thoughts conglomerated so heavily in the air above them that they could feel the tension dripping onto their naked heads.

Naruto's voice was hoarse. "If this was only a dream, it would be the one nightmare I'd enjoy having." Naruto would have wondered at the change in his voice, in his thoughts, in the both of them, but he didn't have the courage to look deeper and probe that feeling he could feel throbbing in his heart.

Sasuke was looked out the window, turned away from Naruto so all the other could see was a cascade of hair.

The sunlight glistened and the thoughts shimmered almost as brightly as Sasuke's smile.


fin.



The two year gap intrigues me enough I might someday write a multi-chapter about it.

Unfortunately, I am absolutely awful about those because I never update.

It's a curse.

And does anyone have any advice on dealing with a suicidal boy determined to OD on vicodin? It's tearing me up.

Also, a beta would be splendiferous! Just a hint.

---

all readers loved, flamers accepted, reviewers blown kisses and constructive criticizers cheekily molested in a hallway.